The word “House Blend” is often used to describe a coffee in cafe menus? What does it mean?
Blends are coffees created by mixing two or more single origins, designed to get the best of each coffee in one complex cup.
There are two main reasons for roasters to choose to blend their beans:
To produce a well-rounded coffee by mixing coffees that complement each other.
To cut costs by mixing coffees with differing qualities and price.
Most roasters would consider both reasons when creating their blends. Nearly all the supermarket brands of commercial pre-ground and canned coffee beans are blends. Unfortunately, coffee blends that are created purely for profitability are the ones that give blends their undeserved reputation as sub standard coffee.
Blending coffee is actually a demanding craft that requires great skill in understanding how various coffee flavors work with each other. A Roaster would have to go through multiple trials and errors to create a coffee with balanced flavor, body and acidity. A master blend would also need to maintain the same great taste and consistency throughout the year.
Blends are ideal for espresso. An espresso blend would usually combine a single origin that produces the flavor with another single origin that supplies the thick body and crema creating a wholesome cup of espresso. Blended coffee also go well with milk as their well-balanced flavors are able to punch through the creamy milk to create a smooth cup of latte.